LOYALTY: A dames way to navigate female friendships in and outside of the work place
If your friend has a problem with her, how could you possibly get along with this “outsider”?
I'm sure we have all heard this at some point from one of our friends. The conversation will usual bring up the question of who you loyalties are with. This can happen with family, friends or even in the work place. At times it may feel like a difficult situation, and you may feel that there is a line that shouldn’t be cross. Why would you be friends with someone who hurt someone close to you? Believe me ladies, it is possible. You are your own person and have your own personality, like who you want to be friends with. Here are some tips on how to navigate through this emotional situation.
Stick to your gut:
As you get older, your intuition is a very helpful guide. Some people are better than others at being able to read people, however you know if you like someone or not. If two people you know get into an argument, leave that between them. If YOU know you enjoy both of their company, then remain friends with both. Don’t let one sway you to believe the other one is a bad person. If they intend you ill will, you will find out soon enough. Just be sure to make it a point to like who you want. Period.
Don’t talk about others to others:
Unless you are speaking with someone that you have known for years, or someone that you know you can trust with everything, don’t talk negatively about anyone else. Even if someone irritates you to the core, refrain from bad mouthing them. This just gives people ammunition to start unwarranted drama in your life, whether it be the work place or within the family. It is always ok to vent your emotions, and is actually very helpful to do so. Just make sure that you don’t vent in order to discredit or be malicious to others.
Don’t be intimidated:
If you are reading this you are old enough to be able to formulate your own opinions. One of my favorite saying is, “I am a grown woman and I will do what I please.” Make sure this rings true in all your life situations. If one of your close friends doesn’t want you being friends with someone else due to their own personal dislike for them, you need to stand your ground and tell them to get over it. Make it clear that you are more than able to make and keep relationships outside of their approval. If you get along with them, then continue the friendship. Don’t throw something away because someone else disapproves.
Choose your battles:
The worst thing to endure is to sit and let someone disrespect someone you know in front of you. There are a couple different ways to handle this.
1. Simply sit and listen. Let them talk. Let them get whatever they need to off their chest. However don’t participate in the slander. This will just make you look like an un-loyal friend.
2. Ask them to stop talking about them in front of you. Make in non-confrontational, but be direct and clear that you don’t want to be part of the conversation.
3. Listen, and then go back and tell the person they were being talked about. This option, however, now puts you in an uncomfortable position. This is when I say pick and choose your battles. Make sure what you are repeating is worth the potential back lash.
At the end of the day, we are all going to be into situations that will call our friendships into question. It's how you proceed with them that will determine where your “loyally” lies. Most women have their own social circles, and due to the nature of our emotions, traveling in them can at times be complicated. Make it a point to trust your gut feeling about new friends, be diligent to stand your ground with your current friends, and pick your battles when needed.